Monday, April 30, 2007

A bird in mid-flight

Once again, you can never take a detailed photo of a raven, it's always just shapes.

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A mirror image of a previous post

How lovely to see, the sunlight has returned. Being here in the summer makes the winters completely worth it.

Hello from Aklavik!

This little guy was warming up in a heated car, during the Mad Trapper Rendezvous March 30.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Ice road to Tsiigehthic...end of the season

The Tsiigehthic/Inuvik ice road is currently on 48-hours notice. This means the entire Dempster highway could soon close, but it's still open.

On April 21, I drove across the road twice. There was nearly a foot of water and slush in some places, and I honestly thought the car was going to sink.

Thankfully, ice roads are well-monitored here and I saw an 18-wheeler pass after I was done.

Gutentag, Tuktoyaktuk!

Here, a German tourist wearing a traditional coat speaks with an elder in Tuktoyaktuk.
(Which proves: Yes, it might be cold here, but people know how to dress up.)

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

That is one giant shovel

Kids crowd around a gigantic snowplow in Aklavik, March 30.

Hey, it's him again!

Hey, remember that "crazy-looking but friendly dog" from a while back? He was walking around Aklavik's Mad Trapper Rendezvous, March 30.

Well, false alarm.

This always happens to me: I see a shape in the distance, stop the car, get my camera, and then realize: It's just a piece of garbage.

Monday, April 23, 2007

The amazing silhouette birds

No matter what angle you photograph a raven, they always look like shadow outlines, which suck in all the light and provide no detail. It's kind of cool.

Better pull to the side

Driving the Dempster highway is scary. It's a dirt road shared with 18-wheelers, which goes on for hundreds of kilometres.

The town landscape

Here's another shot from the apartment window. (Am I getting creepy, taking photos of passing cars from behind my curtain with a zoom lens?)

Sledding fun in McPherson

One rule of taking photos: You know anyone under 12 will do "bunny ears." It's like an absolute law of photography. :)

Life on Mars

This was taken Saturday night around 11:30pm. It's the view from my apartment window, using a zoom lens.

No photoshop, it's all real! I cannot believe this colour.

What's so bad about winter, anyhow?

Walking through the main street of Fort McPherson, you come to appreciate clean white snow.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Government shack in Tuktoyaktuk

Thanks to the government for saving tax dollars here. Paint is expensive.

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Views from Tuktoyaktuk, p.2

Shown here: A marker celebrating Canada's three oceans, and an antique boat seen in town.

The power of gravilty

Here's a good system for fueling snowmobiles, used in Tuktoyaktuk during last week's races.

Wrestling is fun

Inuvik has a very successful wrestling program, for both kids and adults.
Some people really seem to enjoy it.

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

BBQ on the sea

Here are two cool things about holding a barbecue on the frozen Beaufort Sea.

1. Cracks might be there, but it's okay, the ice remains stable.

2. You can build an "igloo wall" to protect the cook.

Good morning

The sun rises above the treeline...

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

The quintessential northern blog photo

Happy 1000 visits since the counter was installed, everyone! It took only three weeks!

Fur shop in Tuktoyaktuk

End of the road, in widescreen

Here's the News/North Blazer in Tuktoyaktuk with the Beaufort Sea in the background.

Canada's northern seaboard!

Sounds like one hell of a high-school match..

So, the Mongoose defeats the cobra, but the Inukshuk is really solemn...uum...and the skull reminds opponents of their mortality?

Sports are confusing.

We have mountains here, it's not just flat ice.

(Seen on the ice road to Tuktoyaktuk. Anyone got skis?)

Boarded up windows

This is the old Aurora College building in Inuvik.

(It's been replaced by newer facilities, but I guess no one wants to destroy or renovate it.)

Monday, April 16, 2007

More dogs in Tuktoyaktuk

Why? Because they are fun to photograph!

When will the ice roads close?

It could be weeks, it could be days...who knows?
Once they do, Tuktoyaktuk and Aklavik will only be accessible by plane or boat. :(

Why so sad, Charlie Brown?

This little guy seemed to think his snowsuit was too big.

Jamboree goggles

Sipping coffee at the Beluga Jamboree in Tuktoyaktuk.
Cool glasses, eh?

Beluga Whale Jamboree

This dog was brought to Tuktoyaktuk by a German tourist. I wonder what he thought of walking on the frozen ocean.

Friday, April 13, 2007

350-mile bike trip

Here's an amazing story mentioned in an earlier post: Europeans held an eight-day 350 mile marathon and bike ride in March, going from the edge of the arctic circle to the Beaufort Sea.

Read all about it at

It's spring, which means...

Shoveling the roof!

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Can I see your daguerreotype I.D?

The NWT drivers' license has a see-through picture as a security feature.
It makes people look like a ghosts from the 1800s..

Dogsled passing on ice road

Nothing unusual here, just a dog sled passing the car on an ice road. (I guess someone was going on a practice run.)

Museum quality artifacts

This traditional boat is displayed at Mangilaluk school in Tuktoyaktuk.

Thank goodness for planes

Flying over the arctic gives you a sinking feeling: If it weren't for airplanes, you would be absolutely helpless.

Really: Imagine yourself trying to cross this immense landscape without roads. You might as well be an ant crossing a soccer field.

I probably have smallpox now...

Spring always brings months of litter back to the surface of the streets.
Seriously -- a biohazard warning?? What is this??

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Adventure tourism: We've seen it all

Here's one thing I've learned about the north: Everybody with money is trying to break records.

In the months since moving here, I have heard about:

1. Helicopter pilots flying from pole to pole around the world.
2. European "extreme ultra marathoners" running 350 miles on the ice roads
3. A motorcyclist traveling from Regina to Tuktoyaktuk, to raise awareness of autism.
4. A hot-air balloonist planning to spend 36 hours in the air, to break a record. (Cold air helps)
5. People paddling the Mackenzie River.
6. People cycling the Dempster Highway.

This fellow arrived here in a two-seater plane last summer, after flying from the tip of South America.

I am half expecting Richard Branson to show up riding an elephant.

Tiny dancer

A five year old member of the Tuktoyaktuk Drummers & Dancers leads the show, while his colleagues dance and make animal-style noises. (Like a goose? It's hard to describe.)

Sign says: Long drive ahead

Winter Wizard

Cool goggles, eh?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Three new roomates; quiet nonsmokers, very clean

Here's a fun fact about flying to Inuvik from Whitehorse. There is absolutely no security clearance. You just check your luggage, stand in line, and then get on the plane.

This is good, because it allows some bending of the rules. For instance? Carrying three live goldfish in a camera bag.

Views from Whitehorse

Lindsay and I returned from Whitehorse, Yukon this week. What a beautiful city! It was very strange to walk into shops such as the Supercentre grocery/department store (Which is acres of junk, literally), and see all manner of stores selling clothing, camera supplies, sushi, and other things unavailable in Inuvik.

Whitehorse is an 18-hour drive from Inuvik, so thankfully we took a plane.